What China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has to offer Pakistan?

By Mehar-un-nisa

The CPEC project will include building new roads, a 1,800-kilometre railway line and a network of oil pipelines to connect Kashgar in China’s western Xinjiang region to the port of Gwadar.

Establishment of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was first proposed by Chinese premier Li Keqiang during his visit to Pakistan in May 2013.“Our two sides should focus on carrying out priority projects in connectivity, energy development and power generation,” Li said at the time.

CPEC framework covers many projects of various areas including energy, ports, infrastructure and industrial collaboration. A number of agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoUs) have been signed in this regard.

Being the core component of the CPEC, Gwadar holds a very important position in the China’s vision for ‘One Road, One Belt’.

Pak-China Industrial Corridor

China is already working on Gwadar Port to catch international market in near future. The strong infrastructure built on Port has the ability to increase the economic activity drastically. With infrastructure designed for larger ships along with the development of other means of transportation will eventually result in making a strong transportation network thus, economic activities will boost the trade.

Despite looming danger of terrorism in Pakistan, Chinese investors have trust in Pakistan and they are looking forward to invest in various projects. The Faith of Chinese businessmen in Pakistan is a source of relief as they believe that the investments they are putting in Pakistan are safe as both the countries enjoy excellent relations at government and public level.

This ‘all weather strategic cooperative partnership’ is real good news for the said two countries!

In his recent visit (referred as ‘fate-changing visit’) to Pakistan on 19th April, President Xi Jinping’s agreed to invest $46 billion in Pakistan in the said projects.

His interest to develop and strengthen maritime research sector in Pakistan is also very appreciative. The concern of both Countries over maritime strategies, security, marine economy, exploration and utilisation of marine resources, marine scientific research and environmental protection will certainly result in the development of maritime sector.

Moreover, the establishment of a Joint Marine Scientific Research Centre in Pakistan is another agreement which would hold and facilitate the training course for South Asian countries on maritime scientific research.

PM Mian Nawaz Shareef said about the agreements held during the visit of Xi Jinping, “They have sound financial and technical backing and are being put on a fast track. We are starting a fresh phase in our geo-economic partnership that will create new jobs, start businesses, promote education and professional training and help eradicate poverty. This corridor will become a symbol for peace and prosperity.”

PM considers that the economic corridor will transform the dimension of the two countries’ bilateral relationship.

Circumstances seem to be beneficial for both countries. Chances are high that this project would flourish peacefully as all political parties of Pakistan have assured their corporation and support to CPEC. It “seems” like there would not be any disturbance from political parties.

Only time will tell the outcome!

Re-establishing E-Books Reading Trend

By Mehar-un-nisa

On a refreshing evening of March 2015 I, for the 1st time in my entire life, felt that even words fail to express a particular moment at times. Motivated, hopeful or perhaps optimistic would be my words. I don’t know which one goes best to explain my state.

Long ago, I, with the help of my virtual friend created a page on Facebook as Book Addicts Cafe“. Together we used to upload e-books in different formats on various subjects. Most of the books on this page fall in the genre of English Literature.

The main objective of its creation is to spread knowledge and facilitate readers across the globe. All a reader has to do is to check the album of page. Each book is uploaded over there with a cover photo so that readers don’t have to check each post on wall. It saves time indeed!

Initially I was very active. I spent many days searching books and uploading photos. However, with the passage of time I lost track and became very busy in life.

Later, a thought (saying it a “terrible” would be more appropriate) bothered me a lot that I stopped uploading books. The thought was: who is reading these books Mehru? Why do you need to worry about it? I mean those who love reading will keep reading anyway. Why waste so efforts when nobody is reading these books.

Although there are tremendous benefits of e-books it’s cheap, easy to carry anywhere without any weight but it all counts when you get feedback from readers. When nobody responding how can I carry it on?

Besides, living in a developing country like Pakistan, with a limited access to the latest technologies reduces the reach of e-books in masses. Reading e-books is not a growing trend in Pakistan. Only a handful of people enjoying latest technology have the freedom to access e-books easily. So why bother?

I was fine with my thoughts until now when I received a message from my University friend.

We got chance to chat after a long time. After greeting the second thing she asked was,”You are not uploading books these days” and I was shocked to see that someone on earth is interested to read e-books especially in Pakistan. Plus, apart from me someone really cares about “Book Addicts Café”. Knowing about it was a fresh breath indeed!

Then, she went on to every detail of the page and said she just finished reading all books which are already uploaded. And I was like oh my! I asked her if she follows it. She agreed. She requested me to find an updated edition of a book and upload it soon.

The very striking moment opened a new window of perception. I realized nothing on earth is wasted if done with dedication and passion. My sincere efforts were never wasted.

I was helping someone…..somewhere!

I believe that the time is not far away when global trend of reading e-books will flourish in Pakistan, too.

Having realized it, now I am going to upload books soon on Book Addicts Cafe although I wouldn’t be able to upload as frequently as I used to do in past. I was student back then. Now I am working. Managing a job with other activities is quite difficult task.

But that by any way doesn’t mean that I will leave my page.

E-books will be uploaded. Book addicts have my words!

Gwadar and PCEC are important for both China and Pakistan

By Mehar-un-nisa

“Gwadar is strategically located in proximity of major shipping routes emanating from the Gulf. Gwadar and Pakistan China Economic Corridor (PCEC) are important for both China and Pakistan,” said the CEO of China Overseas Port Holding Company Mr. Zeng Qingsong.

Speaking at Maritime Discourse on the topic “The Future of Gwadar” at Bahria University on 20th March, 2015, he highlighted the significance of the Gwadar Port in the near future. He elaborated the economic and geographic importance of the Gwadar port by comparing statistics of other ports in Pakistan.

The CEO of China Overseas Port Holding Company, Mr. Zeng Qingsong highlighting the economic importance of Gwadar.

The CEO of China Overseas Port Holding Company, Mr. Zeng Qingsong highlighting the economic importance of Gwadar.

Maritime Discourse is a series of lectures, organized by National Centre for Maritime Policy Research (NCMPR). NCMPR organizes maritime discourse twice a year to provide a valuable platform for discussing maritime issues being faced by Pakistan.

The core objective to conduct this discourse was to shed light on the significance of Gwadar Port and the role it can play to boost the economy of Pakistan in future. Gwadar port offers multi-dimensional advantages and will influence the geo-strategic and economic environment in the region.

The Discourse began with the presentation of Director NCMPR Capt. Tariq Masood who highlighted the hinterland connectivity of Gwadar Port.

Guests of Maritime Discourse listening to the presentation of Director NCMPR Capt. Tariq Masood

Guests of Maritime Discourse listening to the presentation of Director NCMPR Capt. Tariq Masood

He said “The hinterland connectivity of Gwadar needs to be seen in detail as the port efficiency largely depends on it Gwadar port has many options to serve the hinterland countries a s well as the neighbor Iran. The central Asian and Chinese individual bases can be connected through CAREC 1 to 6 corridors. Corridor 5 and 6 start from China and Kazakhstan respectively and both of them terminate at Turkham.”

Director NCMPR giving presentation on “hinterland connectivity of Gwadar Port

Director NCMPR giving presentation on “hinterland connectivity of Gwadar Port

Additionally, Pakistan China Economic Corridor terminates at Gwadar. Iranian North South Corridors from Chabahar Bandar-e Abbas and Bushehr  can be connected via the coastal road from Gwadar to Gabd, Such geographic significance of Gwadar in the region can open new door for economic growth and progress” he added.

Hinterland connectivity of Gwada

Hinterland connectivity of Gwada

Director General NCMPR, Vice Admiral Asaf Humayun HI(M) (Retired) in his closing remarks said, “Gwadar is inching towards its development at a slow pace whereas the whole nation desired to see the progress and prosperity at a much faster pace.”

Director General giving his closing remarks

Director General giving his closing remarks

“Two things will actually determine that how fast Gwadar can progress, one is security and the other is connectivity”

He stressed on the need to have due regard to the preservation of environment, which should be a part of all development work in Gwadar  area.

Various intellectuals, senior officers of Pakistan Navy, renowned stakeholders of maritime sector, marine scientists, students of maritime studies and many other dignitaries attended this productive session.

“Activities similar to Maritime Discourse are essential to be conducted on continual basis, in order to create mass awareness regarding maritime sector, which we really need to highlight for the development of Pakistan,“ said Tabassum Naz, a guest.

This blog is originally posted here: https://ncmpr.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/gwadar-and-pcec-are-important-for-both-china-and-pakistan/

Where Pakistani youth is heading?

By Mehar-un-nisa

In this digital age where the world has shrunk into a global village, youth faces enormous challenges on different religious, economical, psychological, and social grounds. Furthermore, youth in almost every country faces a huge gap between social classes thus, the nature of challenges varies throughout the world.

Taking Pakistan into consideration one can clearly see with issues surfacing like, low literacy rate, absolute poverty, unemployment, low standards of life, unhygienic environment, pollution and terrorism the growth of prosperous youth is quite difficult to dream.

A University graduate, after the completion of formal education, enters into a world where the scarcity of jobs in market forces one to indulge in prohibited activities such as addiction, crimes and terrorism hence contributes to increase disturbance at large.

The outcome is increased numbers of killings, suicide, depression, rapes, bomb blasts, extremism, lust of power, frustration, and what not!

What the need of time today is to open eyes and adopt strategies to bring about a real change in order to save youth.

The question arises how?

Open street workshops can be of great help to make youth think for social responsibility leading to a harmonious country. Creation of job opportunities in local market would motivate youth to actively work and contribute in the development of economy.

Moreover, active participation in community work between youth of different classes can actually bring them closer to each other. By such bond they will be able understand mutual problems.

responsibility-pak

Together, youth can MAKE a HUGE difference!

Filling Gaps of Political Puzzle!

By

Mehar-un-nisa

“I want to make it absolutely clear that I have no political ambitions nor does the army want to be taken away from its profession of soldiering, my sole aim is to organize free and fair elections which will be held in October this year. Soon after the polls, power will be transferred to the elected representatives of the people. I give solemn assurances that I will not deviate from this schedule” said General Zia-ul-haq to media right after imposing martial law in 1977.

The most attention needed part of the statement is “NO POLITICAL AMBITIONS”. Yet the rule continued to go length without any apparent reason.

Doesn’t it remind us all of a recent similar official statement of Army Officials for the purpose of establishment of Military Courts? Have a look!

A tweet from Military Officials

A tweet from Military Officials

Think again what is going on around?

Think. Who indirectly benefited the most from the incident of Peshawar Attack? Look who was hanged? Those terrorists were hanged to deaths that were involved in the death plan of the ex-Chief Martial Law Administrator and Former President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf first and then came number of the rest of terrorists.

What Army is up to? Is it a deliberate effort to Increase military power and influence on state? Or history is repeating itself the way it did in the governance of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto when unrest was deliberately created to enforce martial law.

Faces are changed but the characters are almost the same!

It was Asghar khan, a leader from PNA and the former commander-in-chief of the air force who is also said to have relations with Army, along with other companions contributed to create disturbance in state by promoting the “khilafat” ideology in 1977 and there are Imran khan and Tahirul Qadri in pair now chanting slogans of “Azadi” and “Inqalab” based on the ideology of revolution from traditional system. It was Long March then and there are Inqalab and Azadi Marches now.

The similarities between these eras are just co-incidence or the history is repeating itself? Only time will tell.

Pakistan: Can We Break The Chains?

By Mehar-un-nisa

The month of August is full of ironies. It is the month when Pakistan came into existence. We see lot of patriotic fervor in this month. But that is not all. It also brings to the fore so many unpleasant things prevalent in our society.

The month begins with patriotic texts circulating throughout the country. Every soul tries to express earnest gratitude for the country. However, over the past few years, it has been witnessed that the patriotic messages are interspersed with sarcastic messages highlighting the plight of the nation. Problems facing the society are articulated or depicted in these texts messages. One gets to know about a new problem prevailing in Pakistan each time a message arrives.

Here is a message, which would be of great help to recall many others:

“14 August qareeb hay. Piyaray watan say muhabbat zahir karnay kay liye haray rang ka hath wala pankha khareed lain aur us par chand tara kud bana lain. Jhanday ka jhanda aur hawa ki hawa. Lehratay jao aur kehtay jao …………….. ‘Main bhi pareeshan hon tu bhi pareshan hay, bijli ka buhraan hay yeh hum sub ka Pakistan hay!”

It’s high time to take stock of the situation when national songs are altered to show the level of shame & sorrowfulness for being a Pakistani. The low self esteem reveals how frustrated people are in Pakistan fighting with issues like energy crisis, terrorism, illiteracy, poverty, food insecurity, and the list goes on.

Apart from this high dose of ‘Patriotism’, politicians of present age try very hard to make the nation believe that they are really doing something good for this land. Politicians are playing cards to increase their worth by raising issues without any planning or answering any questions. It works like a slow poison to destroy the society.

Time was never as bad as it is now. Politicians, being aware of the art of lobbying and hypocrisy, are treating the nation like puppets. Switch the TV on and one can see how easy it is to create a drama in the name of ethnicity or revolution. Recent long marches say it all.

The present turmoil is the result of PTI and PAT’s marches. Both parties, in their opinion, have taken this step to break the chains of fake democracy to create Pakistan as a democratic state.

This month is supposed to be one to show the world the strength of Pakistani nation by promoting talent. Media should have focused on projecting glory of this land rather covering 24/7 long marches for achieving the highest ratings. March could be a part of bulletin but not itself a topic of transmission.
The more the coverage the more it would catch public interest hence results in differences in society. Element of unity will surely vanish with such activities.

This year the frivolous behavior of Politicians in the form of Marches has truly disgraced Pakistan in the eyes of the world. Instead of showing unity every politician has contributed to destroy the image of Pakistan globally.

Moreover, Instead of unifying nation, media along with politicians, tries to divide them; both tend to manipulate the Nation and it seems like Pakistan still isn’t independent as many other external forces in combination with local factors exert pressure in a way that reshapes the Nation’s agenda. Perhaps the soul of independence is nowhere to be seen.

Addressing Nation, Quaid-e-Azam, the founder of Pakistan once said:

“We are all now Pakistanis. We must develop a sense of patriotism which should galvanize and weld us all into one united and strong nation.”

One wonders where the sense of patriotism is gone. Why there is paranoia instead of trust, love, and unity?

This year in particular, 14th of August is not the date to celebrate independence but it seems like celebrating Nation’s dependency on violence, gossips, drama, chaos, injustice, and instability – a day when politicians use their tactics to make nation fool. This is not Pakistan, which Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had envisaged.

Keeping in focus the vision of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah said to the Nation in an Address on 15th August, 1947:

“[The creation of Pakistan]… It has placed tremendous responsibility on the citizens of Pakistan… It gives them opportunity to demonstrate to the world how a nation with containing many elements can live in peace and amity and work for the betterment of all its citizens irrespective of cast or creed… Our objective should be peace within and peace without… We have no ambition beyond the desire to live honourably and let others live honourably…”

Focusing the vision of Pakistan it is crucial time for nation to decide what to do next. Good future of Pakistan is dependent on the right decision taken by its people whether they want to be fooled by believing in things blindly as told by politicians or take some practical steps to bring a change. Its time to break chains! Lets unfreeze the mindsets and adopt changes and move forward!